Updated: Feb 1, 2022
Beauty school was in session as my family shaved my head last week. We thought there would be lots of tears. Instead, we laughed and made it a memory to treasure.
In my last blog post, I mentioned that expectation is typically worse than the actual event. With that in mind, I didn’t anticipate that shaving my head would be horrible. That perspective allowed me the space to think of something fun.
I knew I wanted a mohawk before it was completely shaved. How often does a mom like me have a mohawk? This was my chance!!!
My hair started to lightly fall out on Wednesday. I thought I could hold out until Friday. On Thursday I was driving and the girls noticed lots of hair on my shirt. It was falling out faster by the hour. They began running their fingers through my hair and giggling because so much was coming out. They weren’t afraid. I asked if they wanted to cut my hair before we shaved it. What kid gets to cut hair without getting in big trouble? They loved the idea.
The hair their fingers pulled out while driving.
Sara thought it was fun to pull my hair out.
Sitting in the sun, hearing my girls giggle with Jose taking photos, I knew we were doing it right for our family. At one point Sophia asked why I wasn’t crying. I said I was surprised too. When I asked how her heart was, she said she was sad but the tears just wouldn’t come. They will baby girl, trust me.
The tears haven’t come for me yet either. Having stubble makes me feel a little hardcore, plus I haven’t completely lost my hair. Maybe I’m embracing it as part of the journey? Or maybe it just hasn’t fully hit me and the tears will come at another time. Who knows?
Holding the hair they cut from the sides of my head.
Shaving the sides of my head to maximize my mohawk.
I have a rad mohawk!!!!!!
It suits me. If only I had spiked it with gel while I had the chance.
Pictures don't do it justice. Videos of me and the family cutting and shaving my head are on my Facebook page. Kirsten Marguet Casillas
Going in public with a wig was harder than shaving my head. The family went with me for moral support. It seemed like people did minor double-takes, and I don’t blame them, but it felt uncomfortable. I wanted to explain myself, “No I don’t think this wig looks natural, but it seems more culturally appropriate than my shaved head and bald spots.”
My friends remind me; I don’t have to explain myself. People will know why I’m wearing a wig, and most people don’t actually care. Yet it still feels vulnerable to wear a wig. I guess I will get used to it, or maybe I will flaunt my shaved/semi bald head and let people do a double-take of that.
Today I went out in a headwrap and it felt more comfortable. I still got double-takes, but it felt more true to who I am and what I'm walking through. Clearly, I'm not hiding cancer.
It’s part of the journey. Learning to embrace the many changes that come with cancer and chemo.
At my therapy appointment this week, we talked about the reality that I don’t know what stage of cancer I have. Stage 1 is a different situation than a more advanced stage. Many times ovarian cancer is about buying time.
I told Tim I don’t know what is ahead, and I don’t want to look back and have wasted 3 months of my life. Cancer puts you closer to the line between life and death. In a way, death becomes an invitation to live a life worth living.
Chemo before Covid was different - patients traveled, their kids went to school, and they were around people, even though they were immune comprised. Covid changed that and adds another layer of fear/caution. Living in fear of getting Covid for 3 months while I get treatment will not benefit me. I don’t plan to be careless or foolish, but I also can’t keep myself and my family at home for 3 months. It’s a risk, but it’s a risk I’m willing to take, with caution.
There is a small circle of people that will be our chemo bubble. In addition, I’m doing things to boost my immune system and keep myself healthy.
We might change our minds. But, this week it served us well. Being with some of our people was soul food. We were created for community and in-person contact. We need it. My family needs it, especially right now.
Celebrating one of my besties for her birthday. The first nonfamily members to see my shaved head.
Laughter and chemo will help me kick cancer to the curb.
Cousin time. Babies don't keep. We need to celebrate them.
A dear friend reminded me that I could do everything right and still get Covid. I could do everything wrong and not get it. There is no guarantee. With that truth in mind, I’m choosing not to live in fear. We will be wise, careful, and enjoy this period of treatment as long as I have the energy to do so.